20 unusual ways to save money: Visit Mexico for your dentistry
byDec 19th 2008 2:30PM
Many Americans have experienced a one-two punch this year; lose a job, lose medical benefits. And while your body might hold itself together untended for a while, your teeth will probably need regular maintenance. A crown, bridge work or even more expensive procedures could take a huge bite out of your savings. That's why thousands of Americans head south of the border every year to visit Mexican dentists.
Friends of mine who are among the hundreds of thousands of retirees living full-time in their motor homes make a point each winter of visiting one of the Mexican border towns in the southwest for their dental needs. Towns such as Tijuana, Juarez and Nogales are packed with American-trained dentists who charge 20-25% of what the same procedure would cost in the U.S. My friends tell me that the professionalism and equipment they've experienced is equal to any they've found in the states.
There are, of course, some caveats to going over the border for your dental work. You won't have the same recourse to the legal system if the dentist makes a mistake. If you do have any insurance, don't expect it to kick in anything for work done out of the country. Anecdotal accounts of infections and shoddy work are easy to find on the internet, which could be true, or could be sour grapes from those who are losing this business.
If you are interested in exploring this possibility, I suggest asking around for first-hand recommendations. Any RV park in the southwest is full of people who can steer you in the right direction.